Tag Archives: Medicaid

Will the Real Jan Brewer Please Stand Up?

29 May
Inspiration strikes?

Inspiration strikes?

In many ways it would probably be far easier to believe that Hell has frozen over, or that Dick Cheney has a heart (not just a heart facsimile), or that poverty has finally been eradicated than to believe Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s recent broken clock moment. In a stunning display, she demanded legislative support for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Yes, you read that correctly.  The Governor who signed a bill to allow concealed weapons in Arizona the day before the shootings in Tucson, the Governor who believes women should have no rights to govern their own bodies, has now vetoed five bills and will continue to veto any bill that comes before her until Arizona expands Medicaid and passes a state budget. Medicaid expansion is one of the lynchpins of the Affordable Care Act and would help millions of Americans.

Governor Brewer stated:

I warned that I would not sign additional measures into law until we see resolution of the two most pressing issues facing us: adoption of a fiscal 2014 state budget and plan for Medicaid.  It is disappointing I must demonstrate the moratorium was not an idle threat.

Of course, this has not made our Jan popular at her own Tea Party.  The ever charm-free Senate President Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) told NBC News that he would do everything in his power everything ” to keep a vote on Medicaid from even coming to the floor.”  Lovely! I guess Biggs (ironically named) has a very small heart for any population that is underserved and dependent on Medicaid.

I’m not sure what has gotten into Brewer’s Tea, or perhaps she has stopped drinking Bachmann and DeMint’s homemade brew.  While I am still not a fan of Brewer, I feel I have to acknowledge good behavior. We have three branches of government for a reason. It’s good to see an executive applying some checks and balances to an out-of-control legislature and demanding proper care for the citizens of her state.

Carolina In My Mind…

8 Apr
NC Minds

…or out of theirs?

First, I need to thank my friend Hal for inspiring me to write this story.  When I think of North Carolina, I usually think of James Taylor singing: “In my mind I’m goin to Carolina, Can’t you see the sunshine, Can’t you just feel the moonshine ,  Ain’t it just like a friend of mine,”  how sad that is about the only way I can visit North Carolina right now is in my mind.  I fear the Teahaddists have taken over, and the tea they have brewed looks like the Kool Aid the KKK have been drinking all these years.

It would appear that the North Carolina GOP either cannot read, or has never bothered to read the actual Constitution of the United States.  Just last week, 14 House Republicans in North Carolina “signed onto a resolution that calls for creating an official state religion, declares that people in North Carolina are not subject to decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and proclaims that the state can decide on its own  what is constitutional and what is not.”  Oh my!  We need to get some Haldol for these fellows, because they got some serious crazy going on right now. But wait, the crazy does not stop here.  During the last session, Rep. Glen Bradley introduced a bill that would have established a separate currency for the state of North Carolina.

This story would have no traction, save that these are not lone voices.  House Majority Leader, Edgar Starnes, is wielding his power here with fellow Republicans to establish a state religion.  Wait! It gets worse:

Lawmakers approved Governor Pat McCrory’s appointment of a man to the State Board of Education who not only favors voucher schemes but doesn’t seem to think that gay and lesbian students deserve protection from bullying.

McCrory himself held a press conference to announce he was turning over the state Medicaid program that takes care of the most vulnerable people in the state to the profiteers on Wall Street.

Yes, sadly North Carolina is waving its big bigoted banner of hate, sending us all the message that this is not a state safe for LGBT folk, African Americans, the poor, women, or anyone who is not a wealthy white heterosexual man.  My husband and I may have to start an underground railroad to rescue our friends that live there.  Let us hope that soon, people will fight back and stop this type of institutional discrimination/racism/homophobia. Send these GOP Bigots packing.

Distribution of Wealth in the United States: A Scary Picture of Money

1 Apr

bag_of_moneyI have been rather astonished and disappointed with all of the hullabaloo being made over the record highs achieved with the Dow, as though it were an accurate instrument measuring the financial success and stability of ALL Americans. This continued subscription to “trickle down economics” is part of the dark legacy of Ronald Reagan.  This distorted view of economics does hold true…if you are standing in front of a Fun House mirror.  Regardless of my own philosophy and my own political convictions, the unbiased truth is that the recent record highs of the Dow only demonstrate the exponentially increasing wealth of the top 10% of Americans.

I admit to having my own very conflicted feelings around money and about capitalism, so I will try to contain all of this article to just facts regarding wealth in the United States.  I have to thank my friend Steve Joiner for inspiring me to write this.

First, let us divide the country into five sections of wealth: The Bottom 20%, The Second 20%, The Middle 20%, The Fourth 20%, and finally the top 20%.  92% of all Americans believe the distribution of wealth needs to be more equitable and distributed more fairly.  Sadly, this same 92% of Americans’ perception of the actual distribution of wealth is far removed from the reality.  The reality is that the bottom 40% of Americans have an infinitesimal portion of the distribution of wealth, while the top 1 % have more than the entire wealth that 9 out of 10 Americans believe the top 20% should have.

I will try to make this a bit more simple and understandable.  Let us say the entire country has 100 people total.  Of that 100 people, 60% of those people are either destitute, or struggling to make ends meet. Another 20% are doing well financially.  The final 20% can be split up as follows: 18% are doing exceedingly well and controlling a great amount of wealth, but then the top 1% control so much wealth that it cannot be pictured on a simple bar graph of wealth due to its disproportionate size.  For greater detail and so you can see the actual graphs, click here.

What can be done?  We know that 92% of Americans want this inequality to change, so where do we begin?  Here I have to thank my friend Bruce Kestelman for inspiring me to address Paul Ryan’s budget redux.  Here is where the disparities in wealth have to become political and I have to call out bad behavior.  Paul Ryan continues to offer a budget for the United States that only  benefits the top 2% of Americans.  Yes, he continues to beat the tired old drum of ending Medicare and gutting Medicaid and of course, lowering taxes on the very wealthy.  Am I the only one nonplussed here?  While claiming to be in alignment with “Catholic Values,” see what Catholics say in response to Ryan.  How on earth does Ryan’s budget honor the social contract or social justice in any way?  We can change the inequitable distribution of wealth with our votes.  We can take power away from Paul Ryan and John Boehner by not voting for them!

I realize today is April Fool’s Day, but I regret to say this is not an April Fools joke.  Well, sadly the joke is at the expense of the American people.

Indiana’s Misogyny Foiled: Bully Mitch Daniels to Appeal

25 Jun

Only I will control a woman's body!

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels made history last month, or rather left a significant mar in the annals of history, exposing himself as the true misogynist he is.  When Daniels moved to defund Planned Parenthood on May 10, 2011 he made sure that Planned Parenthood of Indiana lost all Medicaid funding and that Indiana was the first state to deny the organization Medicaid funds for services such as breast exams and Pap tests.  If this is not outright hostility to women, I don’t know what is.

The good news is that yesterday U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that Indiana is not allowed to cut off Planned Parenthood’s public funding for general health services solely because the organization also provides abortions. Her ruling also:

sided with federal officials who said states cannot restrict Medicaid recipients’ freedom to choose their health care provider or disqualify Medicaid providers merely because they also offer abortions.

Kudos to Judge Walton Pratt for abiding by the law and proving objective leadership.  Perhaps there is hope for women in Indiana.  Click here to read the full NYT article.

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